President Joe Biden on Thursday named Karine Jean-Pierre as the new White House press secretary, succeeding Jen Psaki. Jean-Pierre will be the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to hold the position.
“Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people,” the president said in a statement. “Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.”
Biden also announced that Anita Dunn would return to the administration as a senior adviser and assistant to the president. Psaki’s last day will be May 13.
Jean-Pierre was born in Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, growing up in Queens, New York. She has served as deputy press secretary since the start of the administration and has filled in for Psaki behind the White House podium and briefed reporters traveling with the president.
Prior to joining the White House, Jean-Pierre served as chief of staff for vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris during the 2020 campaign and was the national spokeswoman for MoveOn.org during the 2016 election. She previously worked on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Several media outlets reported in April that Psaki was planning to leave the White House to take an on-air role at MSNBC. Psaki served in the role for just over one year and three months.
“Lots to say about how grateful I am to @POTUS and @FLOTUS and the Biden family for trusting me to serve as @PressSec and plenty of time before my last day to share, but today is about @KJP46 so a few thoughts on this remarkable woman who will soon be behind the podium every day…” Psaki wrote on Twitter, praising her successor. “I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance and grace to the podium.”